NTDC to pay Rs5m fine for violating performance standards

Published: November 28, 2017
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has imposed a fine of Rs5 million on the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), citing the company’s failure to comply with the Performance Standards Transmission Rules 2005, particularly with respect to voltage and frequency fluctuations.

The regulator penalised the state-owned power transmission company after a comprehensive analysis of the NTDC’s annual performance report, said a statement issued by Nepra.

Nepra prepared a report based on the analysis which highlighted that the NTDC apparently violated the permissible voltage and frequency limits, as prescribed in the performance standards, in financial year 2013-14.

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Being the holder of a transmission licence, the NTDC is required to submit its annual performance report to Nepra keeping in view the performance standards and terms and conditions of the licence.

Based on its findings, Nepra initiated legal proceedings against the NTDC. It sought explanation and issued a show-cause notice to the company on July 31, 2015 and February 15, 2016 respectively. Hearings were conducted on August 18, 2016 and April 11, 2017.

Nepra noted that NTDC data in the annual performance report revealed that the company deviated from the permissible voltage limits, which led to low voltages of 180 kilovolts and 170kv instead of the required 220kv at Sibi and Quetta grid stations, respectively.

Similar voltage levels were also noted at other grid stations in different areas of the country.

Furthermore, violations regarding the limit for voltage variation showed an increase of 13% in 2013-14 compared to the previous year. As a result, voltages were badly affected as consumers got electricity at a voltage as low as 170 volts instead of 220 to 230 volts.

Similarly, according to Nepra, the NTDC failed to maintain frequency limits as the frequency varied from 48.67 Hertz to 50.67 Hertz against the permissible limit of 49.5 Hertz to 50.5 Hertz.

Such variation resulted in a partial collapse of the system (blackouts) and splitting of the network up to 10 times a year. These blackouts caused splitting of northern and southern parts of the network and areas from Guddu to Peshawar went dark due to low frequency.

Keeping in view the violations, Nepra imposed a fine of Rs5 million on NTDC under the Nepra Fine Rules vide its order dated January 10, 2017.

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Consequently, the NTDC filed a review motion against the order and a hearing was held on April 10, 2017.

After a review of all relevant documents and the applicable law as well as hearing arguments of the petitioner, Nepra found that the NTDC had not provided sufficient ground that would lead to reversal of the January order.

The regulator decided to uphold its earlier decision and rejected the NTDC’s review petition.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2017.

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